Scottish FA wants Neymar apology after race claims

The Scottish Football Association requested an apology Thursday

from Brazil striker Neymar for accusing Scotland fans of racism

during a friendly between the two countries.

Neymar complained he had been racially taunted by Scotland

supporters after a banana was thrown in his direction from the

crowd while he celebrated scoring the second of his two goals in

Brazil’s 2-0 win at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

With a German tourist admitting to throwing the banana and

London police saying they received no official reports of racist

taunts, the SFA asked for an apology ”either from the player

involved, or the Brazilian FA.”

”Scotland’s supporters were genuinely upset and annoyed that

the unfounded allegations leveled against them threatened to sully

their reputation as fair, good-humored and respectful spectators,”

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said. ”As the matter has been

resolved, and Scotland supporters cleared of any involvement, we

felt it was only right that we acted on behalf of our

supporters.”

Regan added he was disappointed the episode ”threatened to

overshadow an entertaining match, played amidst a real carnival

atmosphere created by supporters of both teams.”

A Scotland fan group previously said any jeers directed toward

Neymar were in response to what supporters saw as the Santos

striker faking injury. The officer in charge of police at the

stadium, which is the home of Premier League club Arsenal, backed

the Scotland fans.

”The Scottish fans’ behavior was first class,” match commander

Mark Sheeran said Monday. ”There were no issues at all inside the

stadium.”

The banana was apparently thrown by the tourist from the North

Stand, which was occupied by Brazil fans.

Arsenal said there was no sinister motive behind the incident

and will not be taking any further action.